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Camp Design Build Adventure

Overview - July 2017

CAMP DESIGN BUILD ADVENTURE explores new perspectives on the built environment in our lives. This 3-day workshop focuses on locality and community in design - not just the materials and the construction techniques, but how climate, geography, socioeconomics, personal relationships and even factors like the food, music and art of a place can and should influence design.

More than just a how-to clinic, CAMP DESIGN BUILD ADVENTURE is about creating meaningful experience as we work. We believe that an important part of the design process takes place in shared communal moments around the camp, dinner table, and bonfire. Throughout the course of the week, adventurers will design, source materials locally, and build it all within the context of creating moments of community, purpose and fun.



Who's Running the Show?

Jack Sanders, founder of Austin-based Design Build Adventure. Since 2005, he has been collaborating with Liz Lambert and her Bunkhouse team on El Cosmico, a vintage trailer, safari tent and teepee hotel in Marfa, Texas. Other recent collaborative works include CO2 LED, a large scale temporary public art project in Arlington, Virginia, an integrated artwork/wayfinding project along the six mile Lance Armstrong Bikeway (LAB) in Austin, and a retreat south of Marathon, Texas. His work explores the intersection of design and place. While on project sites, Sanders sketches and collects objects and imagery that he later transforms into a series of drawings, collages, and etchings that document the spirit of each project's process / experience.

Marfa: Where it's at.

CAMP DESIGN BUILD ADVENTURE happens in Marfa, Texas. A town of only 2121 people in the far West Texas high plains desert, Marfa sits at a unique crossroads where rural ranching culture and international art Mecca converge. The town is equally influenced by its ranching roots, its proximity to Mexico and the vibrant migration of artists from big cities that has been happening there since the early 1970's. In this environment, access to materials are limited and resourcefulness is key, and getting the job done means building relationships as much as building stuff. In an inexplicable way, everything created in Marfa is left with the vivid stamp of this place on the finished product.

El Cosmico is an 21-acre trailer, safari tent and teepee hotel and campground in Marfa, TX. It is the second home to intrepid travelers and wanderers from all corners of the world. El Cosmico serves as a hub for happenings that elevate the mind, soul and creative spirit, and is a great place to get your hands dirty when the need arises.

Is this for me? Yes.

Who should attend Camp Design Build Adventure? Everyone! No previous building experience is necessary and the class is designed to inspire and inform everyone from architects looking to get their hands dirty to laypeople who'd like to experience the design build process for the first time.

The Details

Thursday, July 20 - Sunday, July 23

Schedule of events
Full itinerary including Camp Design Build Adventure is now available here. 

Stay where you play

El Cosmico offers vintage trailers, teepees, safari tents, scout tents and campground spaces for your own tent. Check out our accommodations, and call (432) 729-1950 or email for more info about staying at El Cosmico during the event.

Email our friendly event staff, or call us at (432) 729-1950.


Past Camp Projects

Past camps have included a furniture build and auction that raised money for the West Texas Food Bank, and other projects in support of Marfa.